I loved the piece in this week’s Guardian about how spending time in coffee shops can greatly enhance your creativity. See Bright Light Marketing’s Facebook Page to see the link and the article. https://www.facebook.com/#!/BrightLightMarketing. I have always been a great believer in taking time out and spending time mulling over things in a coffee shop. It’s amazing how solutions come to you when you do.
But don’t you find when you are told or have to be creative you immediately feel the opposite and your brain seems to be devoid of thoughts or solutions? So how can you enhance your creativity? Here are three tips from my experience.
1. Forget about it.
Yes I really mean that forget about what you are trying to be creative about particularly if you are struggling to come up with a solution. Tell your brain what it is you want to be creative about or what the problem is that you need a solution to. Then forget about it and get on with your life. Sleep on it and then start thinking about it again.
Honestly this works. I have great admiration for the human brain. That even when you don’t think you are being creative or coming up with a solution deep in your brain its buzzing with ideas and solutions. The secret is to really forget it and let your inner brain do the work. And when you do come back to it I am always amazed at how suddenly I have the solution and lots of creative thoughts. So where as before I had a blank sheet of paper suddenly I can’t keep up with all the thoughts that are tumbling out of my head.
2. Exercise it
I don’t believe that the most creative thoughts come from sitting behind a desk. Sometimes they may but mostly they don’t. And I don’t think that I am alone in finding that my most creative thoughts come when I am out a walk and enjoying the great outdoors. It might not be walking that you like to do for exercise. Others find cycling or running or even just go to the gym can help creativity. But what is certainly true is that creative people will tend to be people who take lots of exercise.
3. Share it
We are not meant to operate alone therefore another great way of being creative is to share what you want to be creative about with not only your colleagues but also your family and friends. I often do this and always find that something that someone says triggers a thought for me and before I know it I have solved the problem and come up with a creative solution. This is why (and yes I would say this as I am a consultant) it is often a good idea when you have a major project or issue that needs a solution to let external people work with you. We all get too close to our business and the saying you can’t see the wood for the trees is true.
But the main thing is don’t struggle with what you want to be creative with on your own! Share it, talk about it and discuss it with your colleagues, friends and family.
My main point about creativity is that it is best done often outside the office. Take yourself of for a coffee. Forget about it and let the grey cells do the work they do so well. Go for a cycle, walk or a run. And share it don’t keep it to yourself. Some of my tips for being creative which always work for me. So don’t feel guilty about having a cup of coffee! Just tell your boss you are working your creative brain!